Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Let us try to get this one down before it leaves my brain because my recollection of this movie is trying like hell to leave my memory forever.  When you review enough of these things, the really forgettable ones, such as ‘Diamond Dogs’, escape your brain quite easily.  You may look over your own archive of reviewed films and see a few films that you have absolutely no memory of ever watching.  You start to read you own review to try and jog your memory of whatever forgettable dreck you’ve seen and sadly for the legion of Dolph Lungren Fan out there, of which I am one, ‘Diamond Dogs’ falls in that category.  Even though I just saw it a day ago, it’s already on its way out my mind ‘Flowers for Algernon’ style.

Dolph Lungren I guess would be the flanker back, kind of off to the side compared to our unholy trio of DTV kings with Seagal being the QB, Wesley being the half back and Jean-Claude being the full back.  Dolph doesn’t put them out quite as frequently as those three, but he’s certainly no slouch and his movies are a cut above the JV league which includes characters like Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson, Oliver Grunner and Gary Daniels.  After watching ‘Diamond Dogs’ however, even Oliver Grunner would be muttering ‘what the hell…?’

Dolph portrays Xander Ronson, a down on his luck security expert who has landed in Thailand or Singapore or somewhere and is barely squeaking by, fighting in staged cage matches run by a friend.  Busted by the authorities yet again, Ronson is pretty much down and out.  Luck comes Ronson’s way in the form some squirrelly dude named Chambers (William Shriver) who is looking for some ancient Tibetan scroll – maybe they’re in Tibet?  Hell if I know.  Anyway, this scroll Chambers is searching for has bunch of jewels in it and he decides to pay Ronson to be his guide and security.  Of

course there’s some other evil dude, who I think is supposed to be Russian or something, who wants this scroll as well and they pretty much just follow Ronson and his crew to the scroll where there are some shootouts, and then a big fight scene at the end.  Roll credits.

I’m sorry but that’s really the best I could do. I suppose ‘Diamond Dogs’ (I don’t quite get the title either) could be considered a real low rent ‘Indiana Jones’ if Professor Jones were a  slow witted dunce and Spielberg shot the movie on his Sony Handicam.  Some cat named Shimon Dotan is credited as director but Dolph himself has an uncredited nod as director as well so either Dolph started this thing and realized he lacked the necessary abilities to guide a crappy action flick or Shimon Dotan was screwing up so bad Ivan Drago went on his ass like he was Apollo Creed in Rocky IV and got Dotan’s non-directing butt out of there.  Whatever the case, the end result was still some kind of awful. 

The first thing that stands out is the overall low quality of the film stock, or video stock as the case may be.  I don’t know whether the cinematographer was using a dirty lens or they thought the super grainy dirty feel would add to the ‘atmosphere’ of the production.  In truth it just illustrated that mini DV tapes are a buck fifty for a reason.  There was a decidedly amateurish dull gloss to whole production from the look, to the sound, to the incredibly poor camera work, sub par choppy editing and of course the substandard acting.  I’m have no idea what the budget for this thing was, and having a low budget doesn’t mean you have to have a sorry film, but if the budget for this was say a hundred grand, let’s go ahead assume that Dolph got eighty of that with the other twenty going to things like the other actors, crew, sound guys, special effects dude and the director.  But Dolph did that too, so lower that to ten grand.

There’s absolutely no reason for you or anyone to go and rent this, even if you find it lying in the street, and especially if you’re a fan of Dolph Lungren, since you may cease being one after seeing this.  Oh where have you gone ‘Showdown in Little Tokyo’?

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